San Francisco/Sonoma Vacation Recap – Days 3, 4 & 5

I pretty much already recapped Vacation Day 3, but felt the need to remind you of how pretty the views were in Sonoma. *sigh*

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But in case you didn’t read the recap (and don’t feel like clicking the link) we basically woke up, ate breakfast with my mom, aunt/uncle, and a few cousins, and then went and hung out with my (other) cousins. It was relaxing and full of wine. What else can you ask for?

On Day 4 (aka our last full day in Cali) we woke up and said goodbye to said cousins. *sniff* Once we finally got our act together we packed up and headed to the breakfast restaurant of my choice. I actually almost forgot that it was also Mother’s Day! We headed to Sunflower Cafe in downtown Sonoma.

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It was perfect! There was no wait, I had a GIANT mimosa, and ate an asparagus/goat cheese omelet with potatoes. Perfect!

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(Did I mention it was in the high 50s? Brr)

Actually, everyone enjoyed their food.

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After breakfast we hit the road.

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And headed back to San Francisco. See you later Sonoma! You exceeded my expectations.

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After crossing the Golden Gate Bridge we found the California Academy of Sciences.

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I didn’t do much research on San Francisco – but I KNEW I wanted to go here. It’s a planetarium, an aquarium, and a biosphere in one. Plus is has a living roof!

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I knew the kids would dig it – and they did.

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We spent 4-5 hours enthralled by science, animals, plants, and insects.

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(this reminded me of Lost. Anyone else?)

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Oh look, alligators and cypress trees. Wonder where they have those?

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(I took this picture for you Jackie)

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While the aquarium and planetarium were cool, my favorite part was definitely the 4-story rainforest. You walk (up a ramp) from the forest floor, through the understory and canopy layers up to the emergent layer.There are different birds and at least 100 butterflies (and different types) fluttering all over the place (several of them landed on me).

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They also (surprisingly) had a really great cafeteria (I had some pork dish with vermicelli rice noodles with some kind of Asian flare) that wasn’t super expensive. So rare to find that here in tourist world!

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The last thing we did before we left was check out the roof. It was brief (kids were getting a little nutty), but really interesting (they do a lot of different types of research on the roof – so it’s like an outdoor science lab) and there were some pretty views.

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We then headed back to the hotel (same one we originally stayed at – Landing Bay!), checked in, and lounged. For dinner we decided on something VERY classy…

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In-n-Out Burger

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(why didn’t anyone warm me about the mayo sauce on the burger??)

Honestly, I didn’t get the hype, although the prices were really good!

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The kids were sweet and spent the last night of the trip like this…

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instead of fighting (umm, for the most part). Happy Mother’s Day to me!!

Sadly, on Day 5 our trip ended. Boo!! After another hotel breakfast, we headed to the San Francisco Airport and I braved myself for another 8 hours of flying. Our trip ended up being about 12 hours in total (from leaving the hotel –  to arriving home) and while we were all exhausted, it was completely uneventful. Thank goodness for technology!! It makes traveling with kids SO EASY.

All in all — a great GREAT trip! I am so glad (and truly thankful) that I FINALLY got to visit the great state of California — and I seriously cannot wait to go back!!

Comments

  1. Cindy says

    Such great photos of the aquariums–you have a fabulous camera. Loved seeing the family doing family stuff. Welcome home.

    • says

      Ha ha ha! So many celebrities LOVE it and it just makes me go, “Huh?” It’s still fast food. And the burger patties just did not impress. I’ll take a a big juicy burger (like from Burger Bar) any day.

  2. Maryellen says

    Wonderful pictures..Saw the In-an-Out place…its was super huge..maybe that was the attraction..we by passed it.. We finally arrived home.. after many delays and painful backs n knees.. It was weird arriving back at 7am!! Slept until 4pm..recovery state of mind and body for the weekend! I agree with you.. such a Wonderful trip..Northern California is just so beautiful!

    • says

      YES — You do you need to go back – and definitely convince your friends :)

      The combo of the iPad, the DVD player, and them just being completely exhausted helped with the flights! And maybe my low expectations? They really did so much better than I thought they would!

  3. says

    Finally getting around to catching up on blog reading after several days away. Yum, I was already cringing and going to give you crap for the snake picture. I should have known you’d included it on purpose!

    In-N-Out is our first fissure. I LOVE it. Perhaps my love is so mixed in with my love of Lebowski, so I can’t say for sure. But when we went to San Fran/Napa, we hit In-N-Out more than once and I loved it all.

    Such great pictures. I thought of you this weekend when I was ready to pummel E. She’s normally a great traveler and still was, generally speaking. But by yesterday afternoon, we were on each other’s last nerve. Even the DVD player/games/snacks weren’t cutting it anymore. We just wanted to be home! I still don’t know how yours did so well on such long flights.
    Jackie @ MomJovi recently posted..Wilco: My Shot in the Arm

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